The full brackets for SUPER J-CUP 2019 have been revealed, along with the card for August 22 in Tacoma, including a huge main event!
The Tacoma main event will see Will Ospreay take on the Amazing Red. American independent icon Red had contemplated retirement from professional wrestling earlier this year, leading to Ospreay making a public appeal to wrestle a man he was heavily influenced by. This would eventually open the door for Red to join the SJC field, leading to this main event. Rising to fame in the early 2000s as a key part of the early years of Ring of Honor, Red would become one of the most influential junior heavyweights on the American scene, and his influence was felt as far as England, and Ospreay’s career. A generational battle of premier junior heavyweight wrestlers, this will be a guaranteed classic nobody had previously thought possible.
In the semi-main event in Tacoma, SHO will take on Taiji Ishimori. The Roppongi 3K representative will have a lot of ill will toward Ishimori in this match; after all, in Best of the Super Juniors, it was Ihsimori who defeated SHO in Chiba in order to keep his tournament hopes alive and end SHO’s. Then, during the Kizuna Road tour, the combination of Ishimori and El Phantasmo took SHO and YOH’s IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships. SHO will be highly motivated to cut Ishimori’s tournament run short at the first round.
YOH will face Dragon Lee in first round action. In opposite blocks in the last two Best of the Super Juniors tournaments, this is the first time the Stargazer YOH will face Lee one on one. This should be a fascinating battle of Lee’s high flying and aggressive strikes versus YOH’s technical ability.
Robbie Eagles will take on El Phantasmo in the sixth match on the card. This will see a personal issue stretching all the way back to May have an added chapter written. During the Best of the Super Juniors, Eagles and Phantasmo were in the same block. Eagles wanted a clean, sportsmanlike match, but ELP cheated several times on his way to victory. Then, when Eagles faced rival Ospreay, Phantasmo got involved, helping the Australian to victory when no assistance was asked for.
At Southern Showdown in Melbourne, Eagles faced Ospreay for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, and ELP yet again got involved. This was one time two many for Eagles, who laid Phantasmo out. The next night, Eagles would accept a long standing open invitation from Ospreay to join CHAOS, leaving the BULLET CLUB. There’ll be no false pretenses of friendship from Phantasmo when these two clash in Tacoma.
Ryusuke Taguchi will take on Jonathan Gresham in the fifth match on the card. This should be a fascinating battle between two expert technical wrestlers. While Taguchi is known for the occasional shenanigans, ‘Big Match Taguchi’ was a major theme through BOSJ as he racked up consistent main event wins, and was a heavy factor all the way to the last day of block action. Gresham himself will often think outside the box to get himself to victory meanwhile, and this should be a very interesting bout to watch.
Caristico takes on BUSHI in another first round matchup. One of the most influential top flight luchadors of the last two decades, Caristico faces a man who is no stranger to lucha libre himself in BUSHI, albeit one who isn’t afraid of fighting dirty.
LA Dojo representative Clark Connors will be facing TJP in the first round. It’s a huge opportunity for Connors to be entered into the tournament against a man with a wealth of experience in TJP. Connors may be the underdog, but he’ll be looking to teach a graduate of the original LA Dojo some Shibata taught tricks in Tacoma.
Rocky Romero will be facing Soberano Junior in the first match of the SUPER J-CUP 2019 tournament. Rocky is fired up to enter his first Super J-Cup, and it’ll be fascinating to see how he deals with CMLL prospect Soberano. Can Romero’s own lucha background play a part in this match? Or will Soberano have to deal with a little bit of Sneaky Style?
In a tag team opener in Tacoma, Jyushin Thunder Liger will be teaming with Karl Fredericks against Ren Narita and Shota Umino. Super J-Cup producer Liger will be making an impact in all three Super J-Cup events. Meanwhile, after the Young Luions from both sides of the Pacific tore into one another in a wild brawl at the G1 Climax final, there’ll be a battle for Dojo supremacy at play here as Super J-Cup 2019 gets underway.
Tacoma’s Temple Theater is SOLD OUT for this August 22 event, but you’ll be able to watch all three Super J-Cup events this September on NJPW World!